#NCED Updates: School Safety Meetings and Another ‘Ed Commission’ with Gates Ties

Three North Carolina Education updates this time around: Legislative committee on school safety has created two work groups, State Board of Education shifts positions around, yet another ‘education commission’ with Gates ties is making the rounds, and the Innovative School District assigns an operator to Ashpole Elementary.

I’ll have an article tomorrow on the NAEP test results.

Legislative Updates

House Select Committee on School Safety has formed two study groups.

  1. Student Health Working Group
    Chaired by Rep. Josh Dobson


  • Tip lines
  • School counselors,
  • Role of nurses
  • Psychological services
  • Social integration

2. Student Physical Safety and Security Working Group
Chaired by Majority Leader Rep. John Bell


  • School Resource Officer training
  • Security for charter and non-public schools
  • Building design
  • Access to security resources
  • The relationship between schools, law enforcement, and emergency services.

State Board of Education Updates

Via NC DPI’s Legislative Updates Newsletter:

Current SBE member, Eric Davis, was selected by his fellow Board members as the new SBE Vice Chair, replacing A.L. “Buddy” Collins. At his final meeting, Buddy shared these final remarks, “My fervent prayer remains that God shall bless all that teach and learn in the public schools of the State of North Carolina. Thank you for giving me the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

Dr. Eric Hall, Superintendent of the Innovation School District (ISD), recommended Achievement for All Children (AAC) for the operator of Southside Ashpole Elementary School. The SBE approved this recommendation, and Achievement for All Children will operate the elementary school beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. Here is the link to the press release.

Read more details in the newsletter online.

Yet another ‘Education Commission’ With Gates Ties is Making the Rounds

UNC System President Margaret Spellings made speeches to both the State Board of Ed and the Legislature.

Spellings gave a speech to the State Board of Ed at their monthly meeting last week and another to the JLOC (Joint Legislative Oversight Committee) earlier in the week on April 3rd.

Both speeches were all about promoting the “The MyFutureNC Commission” which looks to be yet another new Ed initiative/commission with the same goal as every past ‘education commission’ and, yet again, no parental involvement.

The group’s purpose is to “discuss state education and training needs, identify obstacles to meeting those needs, and generate policy recommendations.” Could that be more non-descript and vanilla?

There are a lot of the Common Core cabal style buzz words in her speech too – workforce, talent pipeline etc.

From the looks of what Spellings said, I feel another round of “cradle to grave” talking points and more data collection coming. While some of the goals are worthwhile, this feels a little like a Higher Ed take over of K-12.  Go read the “FAQ” for My Future.

There are three co-chairs: Dale Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer of Medical Mutual Holdings; Andrea Smith, Chief Administrative Officer of Bank of America; and Margaret Spellings, President of the University of North Carolina.

So, a banker, a banker, and a College system President. Great.

Here’s the info on the other members of this commission that related to K-12. This commission, which was formed last Fall, has included Pre-K too.

Where I’ve been able to add some information about a member when I was certain about them, however, the My Future website itself has no bio information for the committee members.   If anyone reading this has information on these folks, send it to me at TheLL1885@gmail.com.

“P-12 Committee Subject Matter Experts”

Shelby Armentrout -Education Policy Advisor to the Speaker of the House
Susan Gates – Special Advisor on Education Initiatives – ‎SAS Institute
Brenda Berg – Runs BEST NC, an Ed data outfit
Mebane Rash – CEO and editor-in-chief of EducationNC and N.C. Center for Public Policy Research.
Javaid Siddiqi – President & CEO of the Hunt Institute; also the former Virginia Secretary of Education,

“P-12 Committee”

Venessa Harrison, Co-Chair – President of AT&T North Carolina.
Todd Roberts, Co-Chair – Chancellor of NCSSM.
Jim Blaine – Phil Berger’s chief of Staff.
Liz Chen
Jeff Cox
Beverly Emory
Sonja Gantt
Ann Goodnight – Self Explanatory.
Maurice Green – Former Guilford County Schools Superintendent.
Nathan Hatch
Ricky Hurtado
Mark Johnson – NC State Superintendent.
Ricardo Romero
Andrea Smith
Anna Spangler Nelson – Wealthy biz woman on multiple boards.
Tracy Zimmerman – Executive Director NC Early Childhood Foundation.


Follow the “My Future” Money

This ‘commission’ is being managed by “MDC.”

The Commission’s work is “being underwritten by grants from The John M. Belk Endowment, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Goodnight Education Foundation.”

Belk Money to MDC already includes $255,252 over one year.

Inspired by Harvard’s Equality of Opportunity Project, JMBE commissioned MDC to study the barriers to economic mobility in North Carolina. The 2016 report, North Carolina’s Economic Imperative: Building an Infrastructure of Opportunity, examines the link between education and family-supporting wage jobs across NC, identifies systemic issues, and helps communities create opportunity for their residents.

Here’s a Bill Gates Grant for 75k to MDC. Likely there will be a lot more coming.

Goodnight Educational Foundation has no tangible way to look at their grants that I was able to find, but you can view their IRS 990 forms here.

A related article on this commission is over at Carolina Journal and is titled Lack of Education plan holding NC BackI wonder how June Atkinson feels about that title’s assessment.

Innovative School District Updates


Achievement for All Children has been selected to be the operator for Southside Ashpole Elementary:

The State Board of Education (SBE) approved Achievement for All Children (AAC)–a non-profit organization based in Forest City, North Carolina–to be the Innovative School Operator for Southside Ashpole Elementary in Rowland, NC beginning in the 2018-19 academic year. Dr. Eric Hall, Superintendent for the Innovative School District (ISD), recommended AAC to be the operator at a special called meeting of the state board held via conference call on March 19. Dr. Hall reiterated that recommendation during yesterday’s state board discussions.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips: APDillon@Protonmail.com
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